Father who spied on al-Qaida accuses Edinburgh faculty of discrimination

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One of many UK’s main personal faculties is below investigation after being accused of discrimination towards the daughter of one of many west’s most necessary spies, a former al-Qaida bomb-maker credited with saving hundreds of lives.

Aimen Dean, who spied for British intelligence contained in the terrorist community for eight years, has made a proper criticism towards St George’s Faculty in Edinburgh, claiming it singled out his five-year-old daughter as a result of different mother and father feared he was a safety danger.

The Registrar of Unbiased Faculties is investigating whether or not St George’s didn’t adequately safeguard or promote his daughter’s welfare after Dean complained a couple of “poisonous setting” on the faculty, utilizing powers below the Schooling (Scotland) Act 1980.

If the registrar, Alex O’Neill, finds that St George’s was both “objectionable” or susceptible to being objectionable, Scottish ministers may impose stringent situations on the varsity, ordering it to enhance its insurance policies and governance. It is also topic to a proper inspection.

St George’s stated it “strongly disputed” Dean’s model of occasions, and was assured that the registrar would reject his allegations.

Dean has advised the Guardian that on account of their expertise, he and his household are leaving the UK to seek out new faculties within the Center East for his or her daughter and three-year-old son, regardless of being granted British citizenship in return for his service to the UK.

Dean and his spouse, Saadia, allege that the varsity insisted on completely different drop-off and pickup instances for his or her daughter after a handful of oldsters complained final October that Dean was a safety danger. A number of weeks earlier, he had advised a Channel 4 documentary concerning the 9/11 assaults that he was a former member of al-Qaida.

Dean stated he had advised the varsity about his previous in December 2019, when it was given assurances from MI5 he posed no danger to the varsity’s safety. After different mother and father complained, the couple understands that the headteacher, Alexandra Hems, once more sought and acquired MI5’s assurances. Even so, they declare she stated: “Don’t anticipate a welcome right here in Scotland” due to his previous involvement with al-Qaida.

The couple stated they complied with the change to their daughter’s faculty hours. Once they tried in March this 12 months to get their autistic son admitted to the nursery faculty, and supplied to pay for further help for him in school, they allege that workers stated they might be higher off returning to the Center East for his training and “the wellbeing of each your youngsters”.

In his prolonged criticism to O’Neill, Dean stated the “poisonous setting” at St George’s made their daughter really feel the varsity “hated” her. He advised the Guardian she was shouted at to sit down down by a member of workers for being late in school, and that they had been usually saved ready exterior the varsity gates earlier than being buzzed in.

After an offended outburst on a mother and father’ WhatsApp group, Dean stated he was banned from attending the varsity. That led to “important hurt to my daughter’s instructional, emotional and psychological wellbeing”, he advised O’Neill.

Dean has additionally set out his allegations towards St George’s on the podcast Blethered with Sean McDonald, made by thebiglight.com in Glasgow.

British intelligence sources have confirmed that Dean turned one of many UK’s most vital and extremely prized spies, whose leaks to MI6 had been shared with the prime minister’s safety advisers in Downing Avenue, the CIA and US presidents.

After the 9/11 assaults on New York and the Pentagon, he helped western intelligence find al-Qaida bases, weapons dumps and secure homes in Afghanistan whereas working undercover contained in the terrorist organisation. His intelligence led to the assassination of al-Qaida’s chief in Saudi Arabia, Yusaf al-Ayeri, and the publicity of a plot to detonate a chemical bomb within the New York subway in 2003.

Two former British intelligence officers who noticed Dean’s intelligence whereas he was undercover, and have since labored with him, stated they had been shocked and upset that Dean and Saadia had determined to desert their plans to settle completely within the UK.

One stated the UK had “a everlasting debt” to Dean. “His dedication to democratic states with secular values by which folks of religion can stay in consolation and safety … you possibly can’t ask for any larger dedication, actually risking his life for years,” the previous officer stated.

St George’s stated it couldn’t reply intimately to Dean’s allegations whereas O’Neill was investigating. “We’re cooperating with the inquiry and have each confidence that after the registrar has thought of the matter, St George’s can be discovered to have acted totally in accordance with all related safeguarding and regulatory procedures,” it stated.

Hems, who’s now headteacher at one other faculty, didn’t touch upon Dean’s allegations, however is known to vigorously reject his allegations.

In 2017, after an unrelated investigation by the registrar, ministers ordered one other well-known personal faculty in Edinburgh, George Watson’s, to enhance its complaints dealing with and its governance after it was discovered to be susceptible to being objectionable following a case of “sustained” bullying towards a pupil there.


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